In the comments of my Randy Newman post, the question came up of whether it still makes sense in this day and age to buy music on compact discs as opposed to downloading it from iTunes.
I say it’s a no-brainer… CDs all the way.
First, there’s the packaging. Granted, these aren’t the days of fold-out vinyl records with artwork that could double as posters, but artists still manage to put some creativity into their CD booklets. Photos, sketches, all that fun stuff. And the lyrics, of course, which I’d much rather read on paper than on a computer screen (if you can even find them online).
Second, I like the tangible quality of a physical music collection. I like the fact that if my computer suffers a complete meltdown I won’t lose all my songs. I like when people come over and comment on my music (“Bob Dylan and Hanson… aren’t you well-rounded?”). I like that it encourages me to listen to albums, when iTunes is so much about individual songs.
Finally, I still relish the experience of going to a store on release day and walking out with a brand-new album by a favorite artist… tearing off the wrapper in the car, cracking open the lyric sheet and hearing something for the first time.
I suppose the CD is dying, and I might be stuck with the equivalent of 500 8-track cassettes several years from now. But I’m holding out.
How about you?